Proverbs 2: 1-6
“My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
Drowning in Wisdom
A young student was eager to learn the ways of wisdom, and decided to visit Socrates to ask him a burning question. After Socrates answered the door to his home, the student asked, “Teacher,” he said, “how can I gain wisdom and insight, like you?” Without hesitation, Socrates pushed past the boy, through the door, and continued walking down the road toward the local body of water. The student, confused and a bit worried, followed the teacher on this unknown journey. Without pause, Socrates continued to walk into the water until the cool liquid was about waist deep; the loyal student did so as well. Once they both reached a waist-deep point in the water (the student, very wet and very baffled at this point) Socrates turned to face his inquisitive pupil and placed his hands on his shoulders. Looking questioning into his teacher’s eyes, the young boy was thrust down so that he was completely submerged into the water. The student struggled and struggled, trying to break free from the teacher’s strong grasp. After a few moments, Socrates released the boy. The student sprang to the surface, gasping for breath and looking angry and perplexed. Socrates asked him, “When you were drowning, what was it that you wanted most in that very moment?” The visibly shaken student blurted, “I wanted to breathe.” Socrates, with a wry smile proclaimed, “When you want wisdom and insight as badly as you wanted to breath, it is then you shall have it.” The teacher turned, and began to walk toward the shore, leaving his pupil there in the water.
As Christians, we are called to continually seek God’s wisdom for all areas of our lives. We are much like the young student who was looking to gain perspective on a pressing issue in his life: we want informed answers. We lift up prayers for financial miracles, travelling mercies, guidance, and discernment. We seek and pray and fast and yearn, in hopes of having divine revelations that will shine figurative light on our spiritual path. “Lord, should I take this job?” “Father, is it time for me to move to Atlanta?” “Savior, is this relationship rooted in your will or my own?” “Heavenly counselor, how do I know this is of You and not the enemy?” Like the young pupil in the Socrates story, we are constantly seeking God’s discernment in our lives, and in seeking Him, we can sometimes find surprising results.
The word tells us in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” If this is the faith we are called to have, this blind, un-dying faith, it can also be said that sometimes, God calls us to follow Him through situations that are not glamorous or uplifting. Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Why would the word need to make such a bold statement, if faith was so easy? Why would we be constantly reminded of how important it is to hold on to our faith, if there wasn’t a threat of losing it at some point? Do you think Socrates’ student felt all too faithful as he watched his teacher meander through waist- deep- lake water? I doubt it. Do you think he felt keen about his philosophical leader after he was almost drowned by him? Again, it’s doubtful. Yet, the wisdom this student gained from his teacher was priceless. The journey was scary, and the student had no clue what was going to happen along the way. At times it probably seemed as though all hope was lost, and his original desire for wisdom was quickly replaced by desires for dry land, direction, and eventually breath. However, what this young student sought, he found. In asking for wisdom, it was gained. Though his lesson was learned in way he never could have imagined, he got what he asked for.
Do you ever feel this way about your own journey with Christ? Has God ever asked you step so far out in faith that without Him, you would not survive that first step? Have you ever felt as though you were drowning while simply trying to seek answers from the Lord? This is why we are called to such an unrelenting faith; even though the journey will be confusing, God still needs and wants us to press forward with an unfailing love and desire for Him.
In Genesis 12, we read about ‘The Call’ of Abram, whom God renames Abraham. “The Lord said to Abram,” Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.” With a covenant like that, it shouldn’t have been a hard decision for Abraham to leave what was familiar to him behind and walk forward in God’s promises. However, once Abraham reaches the land promised by God, he and the people of Israel experience a famine. Interestingly enough we learn from Abraham’s experience that you can be in the will of God and still face increasing turmoil.God knew there would be famine, God knew there would be trouble, yet He still told Abraham to go on this sojourn, knowing He would protect and provide all his needs along the way. This journey did not play out as Abraham probably imagined from his first encounter with the Lord, in fact, Abraham probably felt as though he was drowning at times. Yet, he continued to pray and seek God’s will and wisdom, because his faith in and desire for God was greater than his desire for anything else.
Our faith is called upon to be unshaken, unmovable, and unbreakable. We have to seek God, and to run after Him with a desperation that surpasses no other desire in us. The journey of our faith will not always make sense. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that at times we will feel lost, forsaken, and gasping for breath. In spite of all of that, if we continue to seek Him and do what He wants, the prayers that we petition will be answered in God’s timing. If we ask for wisdom, we will receive it because of how faithful and true God’s word is. We have to keep going in faith and believe God at His word. It is imperative that we keep praying and believing so that God may continue His good work in us. We are called to follow God through waist deep waters and He needs and wants us to keep going! In short, when we want to follow the will of God as desperately as we need to breathe, it is then we shall have it.